Interpretation of the Music of the 17th and 18th Centuries: Revealed by Contemporary Evidence
One of the most influential figures in the twentieth-century revival of early music, Arnold Dolmetsch (1858–1940) was the first to apply academic attention to the issue of authentic historical performance. His groundbreaking study, The Interpretation of the Music of the 17th and 18th Centuries, first appeared in 1915 and remains a landmark of musicology.
An outstanding musician, teacher, and maker of Baroque-style instruments, Dolmetsch sought the correct interpretation of Baroque music in order to heighten its expressive intent and emotional impact. In this study, he quotes extensively from both familiar and lesser-known treatises of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, adding enlightening comments to each quotation and providing illuminating conclusions. Topics include tempo, rhythm, ornamentation, figured bass realization, wrist positioning, and fingering, and musical instruments of the period.
A rare appendix of musical examples, originally published separately, appears in this new edition of the first book to address in a comprehensive and scholarly manner the problems of performing Baroque music. More than a text on performance practices, this classic offers glimpses of what Baroque music meant—both as an art and a science—to musicians of the era.
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